A complex nature conservation scheme has been taking shape in China since 1965. After the first national park made its debut in 2007 in Yunnan Province in southwest China, the gap between this new model and existing conservation tools became apparent. This article attempts to analyze the degree to which a model of national parks can contribute to and remedy the defects within the existing nature conservation scheme in China, and to reveal the obstacles that impede the national parks from reaching their full potential. These are main findings of this report: (a) The model of the national park has not fully delivered the desirable outcome that its initiators had anticipated (i.e., a more effective balance between conservation and use of natural resources). (b) A gap exists between national parks envisioned and national parks in practice in terms of objectives, institutional capacity, community development, and legislation. (c) The new model does not fundamentally solve the existing problems, such as the funding shortage, overlapping authorities, and implementation deficiencies; rather, it has revealed new problems, such as central-local conflicts. (d) The obstacles that national parks face are foreseeable, such as the adverse effects of tourism and economic pressure on nature conservation, the constrained role of nongovernmental organizations, and the government bureaucratic structure in China. (e) The legality of the national parks has been challenged, and conflicts have arisen between legislation on national parks and superordinate law existing in terms of the rezoning within national parks.

doi.org/10.1017/S1466046613000203, hdl.handle.net/1765/84334
Environmental Practice
Public Law

Ma, Y. (2013). Environmental reviews and case studies: Contextualization of national parks in the nature conservation scheme in China: A case study of pudacuo national Park in Yunnan Province. Environmental Practice (Vol. 15, pp. 293–312). doi:10.1017/S1466046613000203